So this guy. Let’s call him Steven #2, because he did, in fact, have the same name as Steven #1, who starred in one of my previous OKBye stories, but obviously a name change is required so I’m not a complete asshole as I recount the anticlimactic tale of our not-really-an-affair-like-at-all-and-you’ll-find-out-what-I-mean-soon-enough, through a numbered list of reasons why this guy lasted one date with me:
1. He messaged me and he wanted to meet up right away. This was while I was still talking to “Todd” from OKBye Story #2 (and yes, the date with Steven #2 that I am about to narrate for you is the one that got awkwardly brought up with Todd in OKBye Story #2–if you are confused, please refer to–duh–OKBye Story #2). Steven #2 had a very high match percentage with me (90 something), which was a plus, but lookswise, I didn’t find him all that attractive (yeah yeah I’m a shallow bitch, get with the program already). I figured there was the potential for him to be way more attractive than his pictures. I was also pretending like I didn’t really care about looks all that much. And you know, he did have a high match percentage with me (was it 94%? 93? 92? damnit I don’t remember)…so I figured, why the hell not?
I said yes, but asked if we could meet in about two weeks’ time. I think I was a little antsy about going on dates with multiple people at once, but mostly I didn’t really feel like meeting up right away. Like, can a girl get courted a little at first? Sure, we can glance at each other’s profiles and whatever, but I’d like a little conversation to happen before an actual conversation in person can happen. Okay, and I know the idea is that we’d get to know each other in person and yadda yadda yadda, but I’d like a sample of what that would be like, por favor. It’s like getting a job interview. If a company means serious business, they’d want a preliminary phone interview before potentially wasting their time and effort on interrogating you in the flesh (well, that’s my made-up reasoning for inscrutable business tactics anyway). And I am serious business-ish when it comes to online dating. (Well, I was. See pointless update #5.)
2. He asked me why I couldn’t meet up right away. Okay so maybe this was a totally innocent question, but I found (and still find!) it invasive. If I say I’m busy, I’m busy. Why inquire further? I already said I would meet you, goddamnit, what more do you want from me?! I think I vaguely mentioned something about work and he dropped the subject. I’m all for the “honesty is the best policy,” but in my experience, most people aren’t. And I have the minimum number of social skills required to recognize that it would have been somewhat impolite to tell him, “I’m putting off meeting up with you because you’re not very high priority on my list of people to hang out with and also, I just don’t feel like it.” So vague white lie it was. We then agreed to meet up at Dolores Park for a free small concert on a Sunday afternoon. I was running late (a combination of reluctance, pre-date jitters, and the usual poor timing), but texted him ahead of time to let him know. We met up at 16th and Mission, and as he walked towards me, I realized…
3. He looked different from his pictures. But like, in a not-good way. Okay can I say it? It’s my blog, so I’ll say it: I was not attracted to him at all. Look, I know shallowness is supposed to bad, but honestly, I’m in my early twenties, I’m young and naive and dumb, respect my poor decisions, please. This is the time to make them! Just kidding. What I mean to say is, everyone is shallow in their own way. What I find attractive, someone else might not, and vice versa. Meaning that maybe to someone else’s eyes, I’m not shallow at all, because to them I have crushes on weird-looking dudes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, etc. And it’s not like I don’t take personality into account. It’s just that I also factor in looks. Why should the two be mutually exclusive? That’s just what they want you to think. Anyway, I’ll save the shallowness rant for another anecdote. So yeah, Steven #2 was kind of scrawny and his features were a bit too delicate for me. It looked like I could break him in half, which is not a good sign coming from a small Asian chick with a theoretical yellow belt. Still, I smiled, he smiled, we shook hands.
4. He kept talking to me like we were on a date, or something. Well you were on a date, ya dumbass, you’re probably thinking if you’ve even made it this far. Okay true, and I was mostly fine with doing the polite small talk with him as we made our way to the park, but when the concert was in full swing (nothing crazy, just a vocalist and someone playing the guitar) I actually wanted to take a break and listen to what they were playing, because hey, it sounded pretty good! But no, he kept talking at me, trying to get to know me, as if I was that interesting, as if we could really get to know each other on an intimate level within the span of two hours because that’s how long he had me for, because no matter how interesting he could pretend to be, my misanthropic ass couldn’t handle strange company for much more than one hundred and twenty minutes. When I couldn’t hear him over the music, he suggested we sit farther away from the whole point we were there, which I found mystifying and annoying. Okay, and
maybe definitely it was not the whole point for him, to sit there and just listen to the music, but it was at least 1/2 of the point for me. Different priorities, I guess.
5. He asked me why I got into women’s rights. Ugh, really? “I don’t know…because I’m a woman?” I said. (Of course, you don’t need to be a woman to be for women’s rights, and there are some women who sadly and sadistically AREN’T for women’s rights, but if a self-identified woman has self-identified herself as a supporter of women’s rights, you can bet your ass that her self-identification as a woman played some sort of role in her self-identification as a women’s rights supporter…it’s kind of like asking a gay person how they got into LGBTQ rights–you don’t need to think too hard about it. I hope.)
Dude became flustered. “Well yes. So how can I learn more about women’s rights?”
“I don’t know,” I said with poorly restrained sarcasm, “How do you learn about things you don’t know about?”
He grew even more flustered. “Google? The Internet. Sorry.”
Yes, I’m fully aware that he was just making small talk, and since I basically had FEMINIST AND PROUD emblazoned all over my profile, he thought this would be a safe point of entry, and probably you did, too. Maybe if he had asked, “What feminist issue are you most passionate about?”, I’d have been more receptive, but the naivety of his phrasing was too cringe-inducing. It was set up in a way where I was expected to supply him with the knowledge about something he never felt the need to look into himself, until now, with a handy dandy female person in sight, who also happened to be someone he was potentially interested in dating (male privilege much?). And when the “something” he knew nothing about involves the fundamental rights of a very large subset of the human race, then yeah, that is a pretty big turn-off.
6. He didn’t know what “rape culture” was. Okay, Learkana, cut him some slack, you’re probably thinking. The poor guy doesn’t know about women’s rights–how can you expect him to know about rape culture? Well, at the very least, I expected him to have a rudimentary clue about what those two words put together would maybe, sort of mean, even if he had never contextually come across the phrase before. This is where his fancy Stanford degree should have been put to work, but no.
7. He like literally had no idea what “rape culture” meant. I had to break it down to him: “It’s the idea that it’s okay to rape women.” (Clearly not the greatest or most inclusive definition, but I was speaking within the context of women’s rights and I elaborate later on, okay.) He looked at me, slightly puzzled. “Well yeah, that’s bad,” he said. His response irritated me even more, because I could tell he still didn’t actually get what the big deal was. It was like I had said, “Killing people is bad” and he was all like, “Well no shit, Sherlock.” And I could imagine him secretly patting himself on the back for intuitively knowing that raping people is bad, he didn’t rape people, so therefore he was A Good Person. This bitchhh.
8. Like, he had NO CLUE I mean omg seriously. I brought up the example of sexual harassment–how, very often, women are afraid of going out alone and are more likely to be accosted, in the streets, at bars, etc. “How is that rape culture?” he asked. Mothafu–how did we got a high match percentage again?! Where were this dude’s critical thinking skills? Did he donate them to science? “Because it’s all rooted in the idea of women not owning their bodies and no meaning yes and consent not mattering,” I said, exasperated. “Don’t you have any female friends? Don’t they tell you stories about gross men in bars?”
“Well yeah,” he said, thinking it over. “I actually had to shield a friend from a stranger once.”
And you don’t fucking know anything about women’s rights? I was tempted to ask, but didn’t, because I was already pushing it with my rudeness. Instead I secretly marveled over the idea that he had ever been asked to serve as a bodyguard for anyone, because seriously, the dude was tiny. So we sat there in awkward silence until a couple of teenage Christian missionaries came over and told us a biblical story and we humored them out of equal parts secular kindness and relief at not having to continue our strained conversation (I swear to you this is not a made-up non-sequitur, the teenage Christian missionaries were very real and very earnest, this I remember). And then I vaguely mentioned something about having to leave because I was meeting up with some friends and he said oh, I have to meet up with a friend too, and after exchanging those lies we got up and he walked me back to the BART station, mostly in silence.
9. He knew the date hadn’t gone well, but went for the hug anyway. We stood there, facing each other, both knowing that the date had sucked and that we would never see each other again, because he had asked the wrong questions and I had given the wrong answers. I stuck out my hand so we could shake hands one more time and be done with it. He wouldn’t stand for this, though. Maybe his line of thinking was, this goddamn awkward bitch is seriously going to give me a goodbye handshake, oh hell no–!!!111 or okay, probably it was more like, all right, I know we didn’t really hit it off, but the very least you can do is hug me goodbye so I don’t feel like a total ass even though you were the one being an ass, actually. Either way, he ignored my hand and snatched a hug from me. Seriously, that’s what it felt like–a hug-snatch. He grabbed me, briefly crushing me against his toothpick body, before letting me go and walking away. I boarded the train and thought, what a waste of a Sunday afternoon. Either way,
10. He was a decent guy who would go on living a decent life, with or without me. Is this grounds for “not particularly liking” someone? For someone as misanthropic and fucked up as me, sure, why not. Yes, he was a nice guy, yes, we had a high match percentage, yes he was open to learning about feminism and women’s rights and blah blah blah but honestly, so big fucking what? Was I supposed to fall in love with his niceness? Throw myself at him because the OKC algorithms had us aligned? Think his ignorance of feminism as cute and darling and promptly proceed to expend time, effort, and resources to educate him over the inevitably fleeting course of our intertwined lives until he became a passionate feminist himself? No, thanks. “You could have been nice,” a friend of mine reprimanded me.
Nice as in lying. I should have smiled and nodded and laughed and in great detail and at great length explained to him how women are sometimes not treated as people, but it would have had to be nicely explained, given that it had never been relevant to him before, of course the poor dear wouldn’t know, and then he could be enlightened by my knowing-ness but more importantly charmed by my nice-ness, and he would have liked me because I was nice and then we would have talked more about all the nice things under the sun on future nice dates until we got nicely married with two nice little kids and a nice white picket fence and we would live nicely ever after. Do you see what I’m getting at? Niceness is quite figuratively bullshit. It doesn’t tell you anything. It soothes, it comforts, but it also suppresses, hides, tricks, misleads, smothers. Murderers can be nice, for crying out loud.
I don’t deal in niceness. I deal in honesty. And honestly, I wasn’t interested, and he took the hint. I’m sure he is (or is going to be) very happy with some nice girl who isn’t me, so from a totally assholish perspective, I did him a favor…right? Right.
This is not a nice story, but I never said it was.
tl;dr boy messages girl to meet up, girl is like whatever, girl and boy meet and girl is still like whatever, boy walks away probably thinking whatta bitch, girl walks away thinking–you guessed it–whatever, girl and boy never see each other again